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Top Dog 2016

Introducing Max: This year's winner of the Prairie Farmer Favorite Farm Dog contest.

April 29, 2016

2 Min Read

A farm isn’t a farm without a good dog.

That’s what we’ve long believed here at Prairie Farmer, particularly when we first started our Favorite Farm Dog contest back in 2000. We’ve met some mighty fine dogs over the years and heard some heartwarming and incredible – and adorable – stories.

And the winner of the 2016 Favorite Farm Dog contest? Meet Max.

The editors here at Prairie Farmer weighed the qualifications carefully, debating the merits of the talented working dogs, terrific companion animals and guardians of the farm. We examined photos and read essays and were reminded again that a good farm dog is truly a farm family’s best friend.


And while every dog is special, the top photos and essay belonged to Max, a 4-year-old Border Collie/terrier mix from Elizabeth. Max spends his days with his owners, Sierra Downing and Randy Haas, and they’ll take home a $100 gift card to their favorite farm store. Sierra wrote his winning essay and snapped his photos.

First Place: Max

We found Max on Craigslist as a four week old puppy, living on a goat farm with his eight siblings. When we arrived, he came running up to us, and hasn't stopped since. We were told he was a Border Collie Lab, but we've come to realize his mother may have made friends with a Terrier instead.

Max is the definition of farm dog, runs free all day, and is always the first to load himself in the truck, tractor, four wheeler, kayak, or whatever you may be taking that day. If you're going, he wants in! His small size, just 29 pounds, doesn't stop him from taking on big dog chores, like feeding cattle, protecting chickens, fighting off predators…raccoons, opossums, squirrels, mice, really big sticks…you name it, he's got it! We know many people think of their pets as people, but we're pretty sure Max is 1/3 dog, 1/3 cat and 1/3 human. He'll chase the ball and swim all day, then curl up on your lap at night after patiently waiting for your plate to lick clean.

Some people say you only get one good dog in your life, and for us that is Max. He would truly be irreplaceable and missed by every person and dog he’s ever met.

--submitted by Sierra Downing and Randy Haas, Elizabeth, Ill.

Top Dog 2016

TOP DOG: The face of a winner – Max, Favorite Farm Dog 2016.

Top Dog 2016

FARM DOGS RULE: Max helps his humans with chores, big and small. (Photo: Sierra Downing)

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